Number 4 seed Shuai Zhang will face Arina Rodionova of Australia in the second round of the 2021 Nottingham Open on Wednesday, June 9. Get the live streaming options of this Shuai Zhang v Arina Rodionova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Shuai Zhang v Arina Rodionova Head to Head
The upcoming meeting in Nottingham will be their fourth one on the WTA Tour. Zhang leads 3-0, last beating her in the 2018 WTA Budapest. Impressively, the Chinese has been absolutely clinical in all three straight-set wins.
However, in their doubles meeting in the Gippsland Trophy earlier this season, it was Rodionova (paired with Storm Sanders) who won that match.
Rodionova Delivers her Best Run of the Season
Purely in terms of the WTA Points each player is awarded at the end of their stint in a tournament, Arina Rodionova has just delivered her best performance of the 2021 season.
Her second-round appearance in the Nottingham Open has assured her 30 points at the very least – the most she has accumulated in any other event since the Adelaide International 2020.
It was a struggle for the 31-year-old to win her opening match against Zhang’s compatriot – Xiyu Wang. The match went on for two hours and 45 minutes and saw Rodionova fight hard to stay in the match. Ultimately, she took the game with 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-4.
Currently ranked in the late 160s on the WTA Tour, Rodionova last played in the French Open where she fell in the first qualifying round. Before that, she had a couple of second-round appearances on the ITF circuit but that was to little avail.
Zhang Hoping to Some Success on Grass
Shuai Zhang, enjoying a bye into the second round, will be hoping for a good start to her grass season. And in all fairness, her chances of doing so are looking quite good.
The doubles veteran has kept herself steady in the top 50 over the last few seasons, courtesy of her ability to start strong in WTA events on the tour. She has seen her fair share of big wins, at least on the doubles circuit, and can more than dispatch a player such as Rodionova.
However, on the clay courts this year, Zhang has not been that efficient (1 win in 7 tournaments, including the French Open). That said, she did reach the semifinal in Serbia Open and quarterfinal in Madrid Open doubles with Xu Yifan.
Even though it is yet to be seen how she will fare in the grass swing, #46 ranked Zhang should be off to a good start here. The last time she was on grass in 2019, she reached the third round in the WTA Eastbourne and the quarterfinal at the Wimbledon Championships.
Zhang v Rodionova Prediction and Tip
Expect Zhang to win this one in straight sets, with a possible bet to make on this being a low-game affair. Rodionova struggled a lot in her opener and it is quite unlikely that she will find her stride against a player of Zhang’s caliber.